Green up the roof — green coverage for the house


Buildings with green rooftops return a bit of nature to an urban setting, thereby improving microclimates and reducing small particulate pollution. Green rooves are also lends excellent sound and temperature insulation to a home. Inhabitants can enjoy a reduction in their heating bill during the colder months and, in summer, the shade and evaporation effect of a green roof provides a noticeable cooling effect for the building.

In addition, the greenery can have a positive effect on the physics of the building. Studies show that the lifetime of a flat roof is significantly lengthened by a professional green retrofit while repair costs are reduced. Architects are using living greenery more and more frequently as a design element, since customized, natural rooves improve the value of the building. In particular demand with buyers and renters are accessible roof gardens.

Extensive or Intensive

In the area of green rooftops there are two prevailing systems. So-called extensive green rooves are the choice for surfaces that are not readily accessible. They are light and have only a slight height, from three to nine inches. In this instance, it’s the low-growing plants that are well suited to the conditions on a rooftop that are used — the ones that can thrive in a sunny, windy, dry habitat (such as mosses, sedum, herbs, and grasses). The care of an extensive green roof is minimal. One or two maintenance run-throughs a year are usually sufficient. This type of green roof is suitable for flat and for inclined surfaces.

An intensive green roof, by contrast, involves the installation of an accessible and usable garden on a rooftop, and that’s why one important requirement is an adequate load capacity. Due to the higher demands of the system’s assembly, the roof construction must be able to support 40 pounds per square foot and more. The maintenance of an intensive green roof depends on the design and the selection of plants. In addition to a lawn area, woody perennials and bushes can be planted. With a sufficient planting depth, even trees can make a place for themselves at airy heights. An intensive green roof is, as a rule, accessible and open for a variety of uses. Often terraces, seating areas, footpaths, play areas, and water elements are integrated into the design. 

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